LOST IN THE NEVER WOODS, by Aiden Thomas, Swoon Reads, March 23, 2021, Hardcover, $18.99 (young adult)
The tale of Peter Pan gets a decidedly modern twist in Aiden Thomas’ Lost in the Never Woods.
It’s been five years since Wendy and her two brothers went missing in the woods, and only Wendy came back. Now, the town’s children start to disappear, and the questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into the light. Attempting to flee her past, Wendy almost runs over an unconscious boy lying in the middle of the road…
Peter, a boy she thought lived only in her stories, asks for Wendy’s help to rescue the missing kids. But, in order to find them, Wendy must confront what’s waiting for her in the woods. —Synopsis provided by Swoon Reads
It takes mere paragraphs to get caught up in Lost in the Never Woods. Author Aiden Thomas’ gripping prose is as decisive as it is intentional. Emotion fairly drips from the pages as the story unfolds.
While Peter would be the obvious choice for a main character, it’s Wendy who takes center stage here. Her journey — both physical and psychological — throughout the novel makes her one of the more compelling YA characters I’ve read in a while.
While a familiarity with the source work (J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan) is beneficial — and certainly makes for a richer experience, newbie readers will enjoy Lost in the Never Woods. That’s because Thomas not only captures the magic of the original but balances it with darker forces of his own.
Lost in the Never Woods is a suspenseful mystery from beginning to end. It’s a smart, fast-moving read that will appeal to a wide range of readers.